THIS year’s Philippines-Australia Friendship Day is part of the “Australia Now” celebration across the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Visiting Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven J. Robinson Ao, toasted the enduring friendship between Australia and the Philippines.
“This is an annual celebration we take to different parts of the country, and I’m very pleased that we are holding this event in Cebu this year.” He then mentioned strong business links, a development partnership with community organizations and even a network of Australia educated-Filipinos, as a few of the many reasons for selecting Cebu as city venue.
The-diplomatic-level celebration at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu featured an intermingling of high-profile and influential guests, who savored an Australian-inspired menu created by executive chef Juanito Abangan. Highlighted were culinary gems from the Land Down Under like beef, lamb, cheese and wine. Also on display were premium food brands and for tasting, too!
Guess who was the evening’s very special guest? Internationally acclaimed Cebuana singer and performer Pilita Corrales, who was nostalgically recalling her early career in Melbourne, Australia, no less! With great applause, this created an opportunity for a song, which the ambassador willingly obliged. The treat? A duet,”Moon River,” which Pilita followed up with more pieces!
With a focus on engaging youth, Australia is hosting food, film and forum events across the 10 countries of the Asean to celebrate its creative excellence, diversity and innovation.
Long live, Australia!